Outdoors

Maine in shutdown mode, high winds could cause whiteout conditions

Posted March 14, 2017, at 7:41 a.m.
Last modified March 14, 2017, at 1:52 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — A nor’easter that started tracking across the state this morning is expected to dump as much as 2 feet on parts of southern and northern Maine before tapering off Wednesday.

Bangor is expected to get 12 to 16 inches, though the snow could turn into a mix of sleet and freezing rain by tonight, according to the National Weather Service.

“For Portland, we’re looking at 12 to 18 inches. Interior areas, including Sanford, Hollis, will see 18 to 24 inches,” meteorologist Tom Hawley of the National Weather Service Gray office said Tuesday morning.

“Northwest of Portland, northwest of Lewiston, northwest of Waterville and northwest of Augusta — that is where the maximum snow will fall,” he said.

In Greater Bangor, “there is a chance for a mixture in the evening hours … that could bring a bit of sleet and freezing rain that should taper off considerable by daybreak,” lead meteorologist Victor Nouhan said Tuesday from the National Weather Service office in Caribou.

“The axis of the storm has shifted to the west,” Nouhan said, with western Maine expected to see the brunt of the storm.

Coastal areas of the state are expected to see fewer inches of snow, with mixing freezing rain and sleet expected in most areas. However, high winds are expected statewide.

The winds are expected to cause drifts and could cause whiteout conditions during the heaviest snowfall, expected Tuesday afternoon.

“Winds will increase,” Hawley said. “We’re predicting 30 mph winds, with gusts up to 40 or 45 along the coast. We could see some 50 mph winds right at the water’s edge.”

Meteorologists are keeping an eye on the tides, as well, Hawley said, adding that Wednesday afternoon’s high tide could cause some “splash over” along the coast.

“Most of the danger will be done, for snowfall, by 3 a.m.,” Nouhan said.

Watch bangordailynews.com for updates.

 

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